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The Cycle

News/Business. Politics, the economy, media, sports and any other issues that grab people's attention. New.

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Boston 32, Us 20, Angie 7, Lyrica 5, United States 3, Fbi 3, New York 3, The City 3, Perpetrator 2, Unitedhealthcare Insurance Company 2, Geico 2, Clint 2, Campbell 2, Shelly 2, Jim Walsh 2, Lunesta 2, America 2, Washington 2, Israel 2, Clint Van Zandt 2,
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  MSNBC    The Cycle    News/Business. Politics, the economy, media, sports  
   and any other issues that grab people's attention. New.  

    April 16, 2013
    12:00 - 1:00pm PDT  

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as you all know, this whole community has been dealing with a horrific event today. two explosions on boylston street near the finish line of today's boston marathon. >> this is like a bomb explosion that we hear about in baghdad or israel or some other tragic point. >> it was loud. it was really, really loud. and then people just, chaos everywhere. >> i knew immediately it was a bomb. just a puff of smoke, people scrambling. >> everybody was going crazy. at first it almost sounded like a cannon blast. it felt so strong it almost blew my hat off. >> in time of crisis, we come together and we help one another. moments like these, terrible as they are, don't show our weakness. they show our strength. >> make no mistake. we will get to the bottom of this. and we will find out who did this. we'll find out why they did
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this. any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice. boston is a tough and resilient town. so are its people. >> there are families all around us with kids yelling and screaming. and we just wanted to try to get away as quick as possible. >> we reaffirmed on days like this, there are no republicans or democrats. we are americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens. >> it was 24 hours ago that two bombs exploded right near the finish line at the boston marathon. right now the death toll stabs at three with more than 170 people injured. many of them seriously hurt. the best way to summarize the feeling in boston come from kevin cullen of the "boston globe." he wrote this in an article he called a perfect day turns evil. this is how bad it is.
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i went out monday night and bumped into some firefighters i know. they said one of the dead was an 8-year-old boy from dorchester who had gone out to hug his dad after he crossed the finish line. the dad walked on. the boy wept back to the sidewalk to join his mom and his little sister and then the bomb went off. the boy was killed. his sister's leg was blown off. his mother was badly injured. that's just one family, one story. that 8-year-old boy from dor chester is martin richard. his family today is asking for prayers and privacy. a vigil will be held for martin and his family tonight. the second person killed has just been identified as 29-year-old krystle campbell of medford, mass. she was reportedly at the finish line as a spectator. we're still waiting on the name of the third victim. and as we wait, there are two main aspects to this story now. what happened and the investigation into what happened. we begin with that. and nbc news justice
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correspondent pete williams. pete, what do officials know? what are they saying? >> well, consider this interesting fact. i just talked to a person who has done a lot of bomb investigations who says that under normal conditions, it is possible to gather up 93 to 98% of the bomb devices themselves. even though they will be in little pieces and will be all bent up. most of the bombs will not be consumed by the explosion. so they're optimistic that they will have within a fairly short time here, it may take a couple of days, a pretty good idea of exactly how these devices were made. and already they say they have a rough idea of what components were used to make the bombs. unfortunately, these are very common methods. there is nothing that really stands out. they say that the pieces were assembled in a pressure cooker. that there were ball bearings and bbs inside. some kind of gunpowder used as the explosive within a timer to
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set it off. and placed on the scene in some sort of black sacks. whether they're backpacks or not isn't completely clear. these sorts of bombs have been made for 20 years, unfortunately work just these come opponents. nonetheless, one avenue of the investigation. the second avenue of investigation is asking people for still pictures and video. the response has been amazing. they have and pardon me for using a geeky computer term, three terabytes, three terabytes of video and still. i'm not sure i know how to translate that into how many minutes of video or how many individual still pictures that would be, but needless to say, a huge amount of material and they say they'll look at all of it. they're asking people who are leaving the airport. people who were, who flew into the race. they have people out at the airport asking them if they have any pictures they want to share.
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they asked repeatedly during this morning's news conference for pictures and stills. obviously they believe that is a very, very important source of evidence for them. they're pushing hard to get pictures. those are some of the main lines right now. >> right now doctors are speaking. let's listen in. >> yes, they have. as a matter of fact, i have been moved and as a matter of fact, really amazed by the result of our patients. i talked to some of them. i talked to the families. they're relevant amazing people. some of them woke up today with no leg. and they told me that they're happy to be alive. they thought as these things happen, they thought they would die as they saw the blood
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spilling out. they thought they would lose their life right there and then and today as they woke up from surgery and they saw they're not dead, they feel extremely thankful and some of them told me they feel lucky. and it is almost a paradox to see these patients without an extremity to wake up and feel lucky. that talks about our patients. >> how many of them have lost limbs? >> no, no, i stayed away from the discussion at this point. >> how many of them -- >> yes, there are four. >> can you talk a little about the doctors and surgeons' experience dealing with blast injuries? where did they get the experience? >> a lot of us have experience from overseas. some of us in battlefields and some of us in other countries.
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but we all have experience with the blast injuries. and we have of course extensive experience with traumatic injuries in general. a reminder this is a team dedicated to trauma and takes care of trauma predominantly as the main scope of their surgical practice. >> where was your experience from? some of the others experience? >> i have been in south africa for a long period of time. and another member of our team is actually military surgeon and he has been both in afghanistan and iraq. >> do you have more about the complexity -- about the bombs and how they were made and what they contained? >> i don't think that i have any more information than i gave you this morning. as i said previously, these bombs contained small metallic fragments, more consistent with fragments but other small pieces
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of metal and also spiked points that resembled nails without heads. so obviously, a mixture of things in there. >> broadly, what are the biggest hurdles your staff is still facing in treating these critical patients? >> i think it is a function of this hospital that it can avail endless resources in the care of the trauma patient. trauma in general is extremely challenging because so many specialties need to be pulled over. trauma surgeons and plastic surgeons and thoracic surgeons and emergency medicine physicians and rehabilitation and trauma psychiatrists and radiologists, you name it. this hospital has the ability to pool all those resources to the trauma patient. the greatest challenge that exists which is to have all these specialties available is really no challenge here. >> since your last update, have
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federal investigators been able to speak with more of your patients? >> believe it or not, if i'm that giving a report like now, i'm with a patient. so i have no time to speak with federal investigators yet. >> you said there were four. what were you referring to? four amputees? >> exactly. >> are all four of them -- >> yes. >> and the other two in that -- [ inaudible ]. >> they have stepsive wounds and burns. so most of these patients suffered burns, too, from the explosive power of the bomb. and they have extensive wounds from the shrapnel and the metallic objects that tore their skin. >> you mentioned the -- inaudible what types of injuries are you seeing? >> mostly this was for ruptured tim panic memorand iic memorand.
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was there any other breen? >> that was the reason we send them across to them. we haven't heard feedback in terms of how many have sustain eardrum ruptures. >> in regard to the critical patients, can you walk us through the next 24 hours or so? what are the medical milestones and how lung they're out of the woods? >> the most important thing is hemo dynamic stability. we will be looking for the next few hours, to have all the patients have stable blood pressures and heart beats. to not lose any blood any further. and then obviously for those that are still intoo baited. to now be extu bated. >> you're just listening to an update on the victims being treated at mass general hospital. let's turn back to the investigation and talk to jim walsh, an international security
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and terrorism expert at m.i.t. let's talk about law enforcement. what are they looking for now? how do they go about this investigation? take us through some of those steps? and within that, we have to start forming some theories. from what we know already, do you think that it is maybe an individual or probably a group and how do you go about figuring out, is this a foreign group or individual, or americans? >> yeah. those are big questions and there are a lot of them. let me start in the beginning and say in terms of the phase of the investigation, i think there are different parts and different parts of the government are handling different parts of the investigation. so obviously, the most important and immediate thing are those events and evidence that are near the attack. that are approximate to the attack. that includes the crime scene. that includes the material used in the bomb and the process of reconstructing what that bomb looked like. it is designed, the materials it used. the nature of the timer that was used. then there is a whole separate
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line of inquiry at surveillance video that might have been taken in the area. you remember yesterday, and pete referred to this at the top of the hour. that the boston police officials asked if anyone had taken pictures of video to please submit it to the authorities. one of the big differences, i was in front of a camera like this more than a decade ago when 9/11 happened. when we didn't have facebook and we didn't have iphones and camera phones. now, at an event like the boston marathon, you'd better believe that everyone is taking a picture. waiting for a loved one to come across the finish line or shooting video. so my guess is that there is a tremendous wealth of potentially valuable visual evidence that citizens themselves have and can make available to law enforcement. and the nsa and other intelligence organizations will be overseas. looking for chatter. going back through the records to see if there is something they missed. this is a full-court press on several different areas of the
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investigation by several different law enforcement agencies. >> i want to draw you out on that point. your article talks about that. all the differences in technology from 9/11. pete william was discussing that on our show. the three terabytes of data that they say they have. that's 3 trillion bytes, the library of congress get that over several weeks. in technology circles, what they call crowd sourcing being used to try to take the communal desire to do something and to help catch whoever these perpetrators are. and yet from your experience on these issues, what can they do to speed up that process? that is an enormous amount for investigators to go through. is it not? >> it is. i think if this was just the boston police department, as good as they are, that would be an overwhelming technical matter. because we have the resources of the federal government, i think this is going to be able to be handled a lot easier than it
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otherwise would have been. it is just a matter of processing it. one of the good things about the age we live in, not only do people have phones that they're taking pictures. there's a the love data embedded in those pictures. time information, other sorts of information about where the mobile phone was. so there is a lot of data. in the electronic and digital age with the full force of the federal government, that is a manageable problem. if you think about it in another domain, completely separate, we have drones that fly all across parts of the world. and they are constantly picking up information. and they have to be processed. this is something the federal government, be it in the defense area or the civilian side, has had to begin to learn to manage. >> are you surprised that the public doesn't have sort of more answers at this point? >> no, no, i'm not. one of the, we were just talking about what's different, what's new from before. and of course, 9/11 is not comparable to what happened yesterday. it was the first event of its kind. a much larger scale.
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but there are some ways to compare here, right? and one of them is, as an individual who was in boston on 9/11 and in boston yesterday, a different feel to how local authorities are handling this issue. and i don't blame the folks who had 9/11 to deal with. that was horrific and they were having to make it up as we go along. the core thing i'm trying to say here is we have learned. we have learned something. we are better at this than we were ten years ago. all that money, all that training, that all counts. we see investigators and we see politicians come out. and they're calming the public. they're acting with prudence. they're cautioning, saying lets not run off with the first detail. the first clue that we get. i think that's fully appropriate. i would counsel patients, we're going to find the end of the trail. it doesn't have to happen tomorrow. it doesn't have to happen the day after. we will find it. i'm proud of the american people and my fellow bostonians who
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have held back. and i think are showing restraint and prudence. we don't want to rush off and draw quick conclusions that will come back to back fire us or to lead us off down the wrong investigation path. i'm very proud of how people are handling it and i think we've seen a real change. that's because we've invested in it. we've train on it and we're better at it. >> jim walsh, thank you very much. up next we'll hear from an eyewitness to this tragedy. [ male announcer] surprise -- you're having triplets. [ babies crying ] surprise -- your house was built on an ancient burial ground. [ ghosts moaning ] surprise -- your car needs a new transmission. [ coyote howls ] how about no more surprises? now you can get all the online trading tools you need
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the white house flag is at half-staff today as are all american flags. president obama lowering them lowered until saturday night. nbc white house correspondent pete alexander is there. what's the latest? >> reporter: toure, just a matter of moments ago, within the last 20 minutes, we saw the president on the south lawn at the white house continuing with his daily activities. today that included honoring the sprint cup champion. that's a nascar champion for those who aren't familiar with car racing. suffice to say he was well aware of the circumstances, the unique circumstances of this day as a senior administration official said to be moments ago. we are resilient and life goes on. he said specifically, america goes on. here's what the president said a matter of moments ago. >> events have a way of
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intervening. i know the entire nascar family shares with me just an incredible sense of loss. we mourn the victims. we pray for their loved ones. and rest assured as i said today, we'll continue to say until it gets done, we're going to uncover whoever it is that was responsible for yesterday's cowardly act. we're going to find out why they did it and they will be brought to justice. >> earlier today, of course, we heard from the president and the white house briefing room speaking for the second time in two days, clarifying this time that the white house and the fbi is treating this as an act of terror and as if for an emphasis, we heard now within the last hour or so from janet napolitano and eric holder, the attorney general, both saying this is being treated as an act of terror. the white house wants to make it clear how seriously they take this. >> peter alexander, thanks so
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much. >> i want to bring in tom busey, president of usa sports media group. he ran the marathon and crossed the finish line moments before the first explosion. if you would, take us back to that scene. you've just finished. you're in this sort of post marathon haze and then what? >> sure. it was the best and the worst, right? an absolutely beautiful day gone tragic. crossing the finish line a couple minutes before the explosion was euphoric, followed by they are or four minutes later, the first of two bombs going off. we were walking around. those who just finished in a days. after 26.5 miles, you're kind of out of it. you're empty. the first bomb took us all a bit by surprise and i think everybody sort of looked around and thought to themselves, what has just happen here? maybe there was the potential for a moment that it was an accident. then the second one assured all of us that it wasn't an accident of the. >> i'm wondering if you can
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recall at all over the course of the race, how noticeable or the tight security was? we know often time in these big city events, maybe they seal up the mailboxes and the manhole covers and remove the trash cans. did you notice stuff like that or no? >> you know, i go to a lot of events in the job i'm in. as a result, i was pretty aware of what was going. on and i have to say, boston handled this incredibly well top to bottom. they whisked us away from harm immediately. after the explosions occurred. between volunteers and the boston police department and the ems, i don't think anybody could have worked any quicker after the explosion or been any more prepared before, frankly. it is an event where there are bags being strewn all about by people dropping their clothing along the track. it is very, very difficult to police and i think they've done everything they could. >> tom, i wanted to contrast the data we have on incidents of terrorism in the united states.
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to the fear and pain that people are feeling in boston and really around the nation. according to the global terrorism database, in the decades since 9/11, there were 40% fewer terrorist attacks in the united states than in the decade before 9/11. so broadly speaking, there is some sort of improvement here. and yet, you are there and you've just gone through something that will be a real tragic horror for so many of us for so long and we'll probably crowd out some of the broader trend, that broader improvement. what does it feel like on the ground? do peel feel like we are in another high risk environment given this mass murder? >> i was in manhattan the day of 9/11. so it feels, it felt similar for maybe 10 or 12 hours but it seems like boston is back going about its day. not unlike the way new york kind of recovered as quickly as they did. i think one has to hope that the
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communicate responds quickly. that they're resilient. i think that the international nature of the boston marathon is helpful in an odd way at this point. people will go back to their countries and be as resilient as we need to be as americans. i think that these people who were engaged in this thing were out here living a purpose driven life. they were raising capital and raising funds for things that mattered to them. they were here for causes and in many instances and i think if the history is any judge, they'll be back to doing that very quickly. >> amen. thank you very much for that. >> up next, why would someone do this? we'll get into that question next. money. that's not much, you think. except it's 2% every year. go to e-trade and find out how much our advice and guidance costs. spoiler alert: it's low. it's guidance on your terms, not ours. e-trade. less for us. more for you.
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we've spent the last 24 hours barraged the images from the attack.
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while those images may satisfy many of the basic inquiries, one central question lingers overhead. like smoke above boylston street. why? why would someone do this? to help answer that question, we bring in clint van zandt, former fbi profiler and msnbc analyst adam langford. the author of the myth of martyrdom. what really drives suicide bombers, rampage shooters. let me start with you. from what we know about these types of attacks, are we likely to find a perpetrator or pep traitors who are alive or dead? >> i think in this case, it is pretty clear that these perpetrators wanted to attack and survive. and that may have been one of the main appeals of a place like the boston marathon. for years we've feared that suicide attackers would strike at a sporting event like the
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super bowl where they would attract a national audience. in this particular case, the benefit of somewhere like the boston marathon is you can slip in. you can plant your bombs and you can slip out. my sense is that these people desperately wanted to survive and they're probably, or the individual is probably somewhere today saying, i hope i got away with it. i hope i can get away. >> clint, i want to talk to you about what the people behind this may have been hoping to benefit in conventional warfare. you're trying to take out the enemy soldiers and capture real estate. in this situation, none of those things are possible or even attempted. so what are they trying to get out of this? obviously some people will say, well, fear. but to what end? just to have us be afraid in general? what is the mentality? >> i think it is all going to wind up with motive. if we look at someone, for example, like eric rudolph, the olympic park bomber at the 1996
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atlanta olympics, he was protesting against abortion rights and set off an ied. in his case, pipe bombs. then we saw in january 2011, a white extremist attempted to set off a similar device along a parade route in celebration of martin luther king's birthday in washington state. then we have someone like nadal hasan, the shooter at the military base who killed so many of our troops at the time. so it is going to depend on motive, what they were to do. but by and large, the bottom line is that terrorism is a staining that people climb up on to make a statement. many times they feel disempowered or unable to make a statement. otherwise, whether it is for political, religious, personal, psychological reasons, these are all to be determined by the
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authorities. but as your other guest is suggesting, i, too, think if this guy wanted to be a suicide bomber, they could have easily accomplished it. instead they wanted to get away. watch their handy craft on tv and take some type of sadistic joy in what they were able to do. >> pick up on that point. is there a difference in mentality, goals, mindset between someone who does want to be a suicide bomber or doesn't plan for an escape, versus someone like this person or persons who seem to at least, have wanted to get away with it and escape. >> yeah. generally speaking, people who plan to attack and then get away with it are psychologically much more normal, more normal than suicide bombers. so they're basically carrying out these reasonably rational attacks to try to have a political effect as opposed to suicide bombers who are really
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overwhelmed by psychological problems. what that tells us about this kind of attacker is that we can kind of put ourselves in his shoes and say, what would we have been concerned about if we were carrying out this attack? how would we have tried to similarly preserve ourselves to engage in a survival instinct to attack, to get away, and to ultimately make a statement. the interesting thing is this is someone on a stage trying to make a statement and that statement has been lost. we don't know whether they're trying to complain about abortion, about taxes, this did happen on tax day in boston, the place of the tea party. or are they trying to protest foreign wars or something. that statement has been completely lost. >> well, clint, that goes to your point about motive. we know that generally, terrorism is often defined in three ways. acts or threats of violence.
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intended to communicate fear to a wider audience than only the victims affected. then to motive, a religious or political i am a by the perpetrator. we know that the president and fbi investigators are at this as a terrorist incident. from your experience, when the fbi is actually looking at the profiles, can they at this juncture know for a fact that there is a political or economic or religious motive here? cunning that at this stage? >> i don't think we know it at this stage. we know the device. initially we were told it was a small ied, perhaps like a pipe bomb. which you can get that out of an anarchist's cook book. now we're told it was a pressure cooker filled with explosives. that takes us back to september 1976 when a group of croatian separatists hinged a plane going from new york to chicago to prove they had a bomb on board.
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they directed the nypd to a locker in grand central that had a similar pressure cooker device. that device unfortunately exploded, killing a bomb tech. we've seen that around a while. we've seen that particular type of device used more from an international perspective where by and large, when we see a strictly domestic u.s.-born terrorist, we look at pipe bombs. i'm not pointing us in one direction or the other. but you have to look at the evidence and say, where is that taking you? while you keep your investigative options wide open. >> okay, clint van zandt and adam lankford. thank you. up next, we'll talk to the boston herald about the significance of the day of the attack.
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it is a bad day for boston. i think if we pull together, we'll get through it. a lot of people willing to work together to make this a better place for all our people. so as we gather here today, with all our officials, let's say boston will overcome. >> that from tom menino. for two decades, he checked himself out of the hospital with a broken leg to take care of the city. it was supposed to be the most joyful day of the year in boston. patriots day. instead, as the cover of the boston herald characterized it today, terror at the finish line. shelly cohen lives in the neighborhood where the blast happened. in a moving editorial today called monday, the day boston lost its innocence. thanks so much for being with us. i wanted to start with a quote that struck me from your piece. you said in the years post 9/11, we've grown contemptuous of the host of silly rule and regulations design to give the appearance of keeping us safe.
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when we know in our hearts that there is no such thing as safe anymore. by all accounts, all the rules and protocol were followed yesterday. do you feel more contemptuous than ever of those rules or do you feel like we need to pay more attention to them now? >> well, i think we will be in the usual vicious cycle. we will put up with them again. we will have our bags searched when we're going into the subway station again. until we get tired of that. and we get contemptuous of that again. because it is all for show. that's all we had yesterday. there were the bomb sniffing dogs. they happened to be sniffing on the wrong side of the street. and so we will never actually be safe unless we want to do things like other countries have done. like israel has done. if we want to have armed guards
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at every t-station for the rest our natural days. if we want to have armed guards in front of hotels and restaurants and nightclubs. we can probably be safe or at least safer. we're americans. we're bostonians. we're not going to put up with that for very long. >> powerful words, shelly. let's talk about the past a little bit. i grew up in boston and i remember how patriots day was always special. the schools and the businesses would close. the sox would play at 11:00. the marathon would go off. it was sort of a city wide party in a big city with a small town feel. explain to people who have not experienced that, how important patriots day is to the city. >> it is. it is in fact a weekend long block party. it starts on friday with the closures of dartmouth street just down the road from me. there are families coming into town just for the sports expo to see the other runners who come
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from all over the world. i ran along the river on saturday with some kenyans. i kept up with them for about five and a half seconds. and it is fun. and it is very much a family event. that's what's so very tragic about this. everyone knows that. those who were here to disrupt it took advantage of that family feel. everybody, every runner always knows what it is like to turn that corner on to boylston street and just see nothing but the finish line ahead of you and family cheering you on along the sidelines. thousands of people. it is a beautiful thing. that was taken away from us yesterday. it won't be taken away from us forever though. >> absolutely. and shelly, i know, i get the sense new yorkers are sort of unfortunately, braced for this kind of thing at all times.
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i get the same sense when i go to d.c. there's just the sense that that kind of attack could happen at any time. having grown up in boston, it seems another world down there. boston seems small and insulated and precious, as you put it, innocent. in their wildest dream, could bostonians conceive, could they imagine this sort of thing happening during the boston marathon on a day like yesterday? >> well, no, in fact, if we had a target that we fear the most, it would be july 4th when half a million people gather by the river for a concert. so do we think we could be a target? yes, i think we're not so naive as to think we could never be targeted. but this other day that used to belong uniquely to us, marathon, patriots day, it was all ours.
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and that is the saddest part of all. i loved your word precious. yes, we do feel a bit of that. it is just that no one is safe all the time. >> you know, shelly, this particular incident and murder has been reported out live. it's been record with a lot of rumors and photos and live videos and short video clips on one of the new video services called vine, for example. people were replaying these on a loop. we have an obligation to tell this story even if it involves a murderous attack on the united states and our citizens. on the other hand, as you know, there is a lot of really important questions about how to do that right. are you concerned being from the neighborhood and in the city, about just how many photos and videos have been live, shared without context? >> not too dreadfully.
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i was a teacher of journalism and sometimes teach and guest lecture at classes. i'm more concerned about what students pick up along the way. there was always that danger among the naive. most people especially in this community can sort the good from the bad, the real from the not so real. the social media was used fairly well yesterday when i know our website went down for a time. the "boston globe's" website went down for a time simply because of the traffic. and everyone went to twitter accounts, which was a good thing. there is nothing new about a lot of garbage being out on the net. that's a universal problem. i'm not sure this is any worse than any other day. we'll get through that piece of it, too. >> all right. thank you so much for being with us. >> good to be with you. welcome to my neighborhood again. >> thank you.
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up next, the first responders. if not for the incredible response by the city of boston, this could have been even worse. we went out and asked people a simple question: how old is the oldest person you've known? we gave people a sticker and had them show us. we learned a lot of us have known someone who's lived well into their 90s. and that's a great thing. but even though we're living longer, one thing that hasn't changed: the official retirement age. ♪ the question is how do you make sure you have the money you need to enjoy all of these years. ♪ to enjoy all of these years. given way to sleeping. tossing and turning have where sleepless nights yield to restful sleep, and lunesta eszopiclone can help you get there,
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to go the distance with you. call now to request your free decision guide. the sidewalk volunteers instead of running away, they stopped and helped people. when the boston athletic association volunteers came, they came with supplies. once you got into the medical tent, it's all an e.r. physician
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could ask for, there are cots, and physicians. >> amid the horror, we're hearing stories of courage and compassion. officials are saying the quick response to the blast not only saved lives, but helped preserve what remains an active crime scene. joining us now from washington, dr. irwin, expert on disaster preparedness. he organized medical response teams in the immediate aftermath of the world trade center attacks on 9/11. thanks for being here. >> thank you. >> we're very hearing stories, for examples of dr. natalie savis who was running in the marathon and then after the attack went in and was allowed by police and first responders to make a makeshift tourniquets and treat people on the scene. how in this kind of crisis does the first responder team deal with also all of the people who want to help? >> well, actually it is a very common reality which is that right after a disaster the first responders, actually whoever is
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on the scene are on the scene, it may be bystanders. they're fortunate to have really great medical personnel on scene. the whole system actually worked amazingly well given the medical complexity of what was happening and the tragedy. but there are chaos, but in the chaos, we saw heroism and very effective people coming to the fore and doing what they had to do and they were backed up, by the way, by a highly organized and highly competent health care system. so then the ambulances came. the patients were distributed in the various hospitals in the city. and everything proceeded as well as it possibly could under the circumstances. so all of that was good, but the role of bystanders and first responders can't be understated. >> doctor, take us on sort of a human level to that moment as a first responder. ari was just mentioning a togetherer w erdoctor who just finished running a marathon and was call in to help out with the scene and did tremendous work. other civilians who also just
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finished this marathon. you know, i have to imagine that adrenaline kicks in. what is it like on a human level at that moment? >> well, you know, there's kind of different categories of how people react. some people are paralyzed and don't really function very well, but in this case, as is often the case, many people actually stimulated by the adrenaline but a lot of people have been, you know, aware of the fact that bad things could happen at any given moment. there's been a sort of a cultural understanding now in the united states and around the world that something could happen at any moment. i think a lot of people are very situationally aware. the reaction in a crisis like this really, you know, is able to bring out the best in people. and i think that's exactly what we witnessed in boston yesterday. it was quite, quite remarkable. people putting on tourniquets. this reminds me to say, it's
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really important people understand some of the basic principles of cpr and first aid. it's one of the things we're encouraging. i run the national center for disaster preparedness at columbia and we're promoting all citizens should "a" remain situationally aware of their environments at all times, but "b" really try to develop the skills that would allow them to help out in the event of an emergency. so there are big roles for citizens these days, and citizens who are aware and have their own competencies are really an important and helpful adjunct to the official first responders, the police, the fire, ems and so forth. but all these things seem to work in tandem and work quite well yesterday, thankfully. >> yeah. doctor, some of the victims were incredibly lucky in one sense which is that paramedics were already lined up on the street to deal with marathon runners. and, of course, the hospitals in boston, well aware, were very close and some of the best in the world.
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how many lives were saved by those sort of happenstance circumstances? >> many, many lives were saved because of that reality you mentioned. there was a half marathon in new york a couple weeks ago. my son who's an emergency physician in new york was running one of the first aid medical stations and all they really expect, generally, in those kind of events is, you know, injuries, exhaustion, maybe some would have chest pain. but nobody would actually expect this kind of chaos and disaster. but like i said earlier, there was a really quite a tremendous, you know, people doing what they had to do and really saving a lot of lives. i would dozens of people were probably saved by prompt highly competent effective work done by bystanders, with and without medical training, but particularly the very good fortune of having, you know, nurses and docs around. by the way, in a city that has some of the best medical facilities in the world.
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so there were some fortunate aspects, slight silver linings in this terrible cloud that was represented by this bombing yesterday in boston. >> dr. redlener, thanks for helping us understand the emergency response yesterday. >> sure. my pleasure. >> absolutely. we'll have more after this. ♪ [ acoustic guitar: upbeat ] [ dog ] we found it together. on a walk, walk, walk. love to walk. yeah, we found that wonderful thing. and you smiled. and threw it. and i decided i would never, ever leave it anywhere.
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okay. that does it for "the cycle." thomas roberts is in for martin and picks up our coverage from here. thomas? >> hi, guys. good afternoon, everybody, i'm thomas martin. martin is on assignment. tuesday april the 16th, a day from which authorities from across america descended to hunt down person or per